Pastor’s ponderings

As you read this today, you might be out shopping on Black Friday, running up the credit card charges while gathering up some gifts for Christmas and hoping to snag some great deals for that special someone.  (Or perhaps you’ve already done that, since this year it seems Black Friday sales started several weeks ago.)  Interestingly enough, there’s a lot of different theories as to why today is called Black Friday.  One refers to two gentlemen causing a stock market crash when they elevated the price of gold.  Another has to do with the extermination of the Knights Templar (on a Friday the 13th nonetheless!).  But probably the most common belief is that retail sales company’s ledgers finally move into the black, making positive ground due to the tremendous volumes of sales, finally making profits and pulling them out of negative territory before the year’s end (which most companies attest is not true).

            This got me to pondering – where do our Christian ledgers reside?  In the black or the red?  Are we turning a profit for the kingdom, or continually working ourselves deeper and deeper in debt?  If you read recent polls, Christianity is on the decline, losing numbers at a rate faster than ever, falling into the red in unprecedented ways.  So, how do we reverse course?  How do we make positive gains?

            In my former sales career, we always noted that there are three major components to any product being sold – quality, service, and price – and all salespeople knew that you would never get all three at one time.  You were going to pay a higher price for quality and/or great service.  If you wanted a cheaper price, in almost every case, the quality of the product or the service of it was going to be much lower.  And, as a consumer, I am certain that you have experienced exactly these things, too, haven’t you?

            But here’s the thing, at least in my mind – as Christians, we do get to experience the best of all three!  The Christian life is of the highest quality, it abounds in service (given and received), and has already been paid for with the ultimate price.  In giving his life on the cross for us, Jesus paid more than all of us combined could ever hope to accumulate.  In his sacrificial service, he transformed all eternity.  In the gifting of himself, he moved all of us into profitable ground.  Our ledgers were individually placed into the black (but Good) Friday.

            So, perhaps it is the church that needs to go back and audit its own books, to see that in Jesus our ledgers are overflowing in abundance, and it is us that have been running them into the red, withdrawing more than we have been putting in.                                  

   Always pondering,

      Pastor Steve

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